The art of game design : a book of lenses / Jesse Schell.

by Schell, JesseLooking glass.

Publisher: Amsterdam ; Elsevier/Morgan Kaufman, [2008]Description: xxx, 489 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0123694965; 9780123694966.Subject(s): Computer games -- DesignLooking glassNote: Bibliography: pages 477-479.- Includes index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Short loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 794.8 SCH (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54162730
Total reservations: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Anyone can master the fundamentals of game design - no technological expertise is necessary. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lensesshows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames. Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. While touring through the unusual territory that is game design, this book gives the reader one hundred of these lenses - one hundred sets of insightful questions to ask yourself that will help make your game better. These lenses are gathered from fields as diverse as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, writing, puzzle design, and anthropology. Anyone who reads this book will be inspired to become a better game designer - and will understand how to do it.

Bibliography: pages 477-479.- Includes index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • A book of Lenses
  • Introduction
  • The History of Games
  • The Most Important Skill
  • Holographic Design
  • The Cycle of Design
  • Excerpt: Lehman and Witty: The Psychology of Play (1927)
  • The Psychology of Play
  • The Spectrum of Humanity
  • Excerpt: Julian Jaynes: The Orgin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,
  • Chapter 1 The Consciousness of Consciousness
  • The Subconscious Mind
  • Part I The Player
  • Excerpt
  • Salvador Dali
  • Fifty Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship
  • Secret Number Three
  • Slumber With a Key
  • The Subconscious Mind
  • Part II The Designer
  • Essay: Greg Costikyan: I Have No Words and I Must Design
  • What is a Game?
  • The Elements of Game Mechanics
  • Toy Design
  • State and State Change
  • Skill and Chance
  • Decisions
  • Feedback- The Heart of Interactivity
  • Interfaces
  • Patterns of Rewards
  • Game Balancing
  • Case Study: Deconstructing Pac-Man
  • Essay: Scott Kim: What is a Puzzle?
  • Puzzle Principles
  • The Psychology of Story
  • Interactive Stories: The Promise and the Problem
  • Story and Gameplay- The Conflict and Solution
  • Story and Game Worlds
  • Lessons from Tabletop RPGs
  • Essay: Henry Jenkins: Transmedia Worlds
  • Transmedia Worlds
  • Excerpt: Scott McCloud: The Vocabulary of Comics (from Understanding Comics)
  • Characters in Games
  • Excerpts: (various) Christopher Alexander: A Pattern Language
  • Architecture in Games (Level Design)
  • Elegance
  • Character in Games
  • Essay: Brian Moriarty: The Point
  • Social Principles in Multiplayer Games
  • Online Communities
  • Technology
  • Iteration
  • Playtesting
  • Brainstorming
  • Team Communication
  • Design Documents
  • Business
  • The Art of the Pitch
  • Excerpt: Mills Penny Arcade (1920)
  • Location Based Entertainment
  • Serious Games
  • The Ethics of Games
  • The Deepest Theme
  • The Future
  • Your Secret Responsibility

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Many existing books on game design are very difficult for undergraduate and even graduate students to read. Sometimes when this reviewer asks his students what they have learned from a certain chapter or how this material is applicable to game design, they have difficulties with an answer. The Art of Game Design is a step toward making game design an interesting field with direct applications to real projects. The reader familiar with other works will find this one a valuable resource that discusses all stages of game development, the role of game content, and game play strategies. Additionally, Schell (entertainment technology, Carnegie Mellon Univ.) provides valuable insight into game design from the point of view of software engineering--an aspect that is often overlooked in other sources. Perhaps the key advantage of this book over other sources is the presentation of material. The well-organized text will be an enjoyable, effective read for students at all levels. The diagrams support the key points of the book. As opposed to choices made by many other authors, the images and graphics are very relevant to the text and quite informative. Generally speaking, this is one of the best game design course resources currently on the market. Summing Up: Essential. All collections. J. Brzezinski DePaul University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jesse Schell is professor of entertainment technology for Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), a joint master's program between Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts and School of Computer Science, where he teaches game design and leads several research projects. Formerly he was creative director of the Walt Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. Schell worked as a designer, programmer, and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and DisneyQuest. Schell received his undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in information networking from Carnegie Mellon. He is also CEO of Schell Games, LLC, an independent game studio in Pittsburgh, and chairman of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). In 2004 he was named as one of the World's 100 Top Young Innovators by MIT's Technology Review .

Other editions of this work

No cover image available The art of game design : by Schell, Jesse ©2014
No cover image available The art of game design by Schell, Jesse ©2008